Esor Ben-Sorek
Esor Ben-Sorek

Dear God… Thanks for the Vacation

Shavuot is over. No more holidays until September-October for the Yomim Nora-im (Days of Awe) when we observe the solemn days of Rosh HaShanah (a new year) and Yom Kippur (the day of atonement). God has given us a vacation …. Not one that we asked for nor even deserve.

Today’s headline in the Hebrew press YISRAEL HAYOM had only two words… Hakol b’ydaichem … everything is in your hands.

What could it mean? Giving supreme power to our Supreme Court(as the name applies)? Urging the Knesset to pass a law releasing Netanyahu from his position as prime minister under indictment?

Finding a way to solve or to decrease the effects of the deadly coronavirus pandemic?

I opt for the third choice. Everything is in our hands. Israeli parents can prevent their young children from joining the tens of thousands who hasten to the beaches. Adults only should be permitted to enter bars and in restaurants to abide by the law of social distancing.

What we thought was a decrease in the numbers of stricken individuals was a hope that became hopeless. Numbers have increased. More patients on ventilators. More unnecessary deaths.

Much of these tragedies could have been avoided had the public paid attention to the regulations and would abide by them.

But I’m sorry to say that our generation of youth are spoiled rotten and parents hesitate to enforce rules. Rules which are meant to save lives… nine million lives in Israel.

Hakol b’yedaichem. Everything is in your hands. Hakol b’yedainu. Everything is in our hands.

Channel 12 reminded young people not to visit grandparents. The elderly are susceptible to germs which the adventurous youth often carry.

American medical specialists feel that we will remain unprotected to the corona for at least one year or until an acceptable vaccine has proved success.

“Stay home. Avoid crowds. Wear a mask when outside at all times. Wash hands thoroughly several times a day. When in large lines remember to follow social distancing”.

I hear it and so do most of you several times a day. Radio, television, newspapers and police remind us of the vital importance to obey the laws and save lives.

During these days of post-confinement many of our citizens walk the streets and boulevards in our cities in search of friendly faces to whom they, as Israeli “experts”, of course, can ventilate their opinions without thought, repeating only what they have heard from ignorant people like themselves.

One individual eating lunch at the Carmel market was overheard telling her companion, “Netanyahu-itis is a disease worse than the corona virus”. We don’t know her companion’s response. But her remark was stupid and unnecessary. Why do we have to add fuel to an already burning fire?

It is, of course, quite impossible for our police force to close the beaches or to evict the tens of thousands of sun-worshippers. Can fines or tickets (which probably knowing our Israelis will never be paid) be effective? Assuredly not.

Tragically, the virus will grow and more victims will fall to it. Schools were opened and now closed again. A good solution will be the return to a national lockdown. What do we have to lose? How many of our nine million plus lives can be saved simply by remembering the headline in YISRAEL HAYOM:

Hakol b’yedaichem, everything rests in your hands. Tizkeru, tishmeru, tamshichu lichyot b’briyut tovah.

God is giving us a vacation. One to contemplate on the value of living long, safe and happy years. Enjoy the vacation and give thanks to God for His kindness.

Remember, observe (obey) and continue to live in good health. Ken yehi ratzon. So may it be!

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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